One frame at a time (tanka sequence)

 

 

 

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Photo: aperture art blur/Pixabay

 

My thanks to my friend and fellow poet, Iliyana Stoyanova
for writing this tanka sequence with me. 

 

 

Blithe Spirit, the Journal of the British Haiku Society, August 2018

 

 

ONE FRAME AT A TIME

A Tanka Sequence

by Mary Kendall (USA) and Iliyana Stoyanova (UK)

 

camera in hand
you tame the world
click by click …
living your life
one frame at a time

(MK)

the old album
asleep in dust
for all these years
the last two pages
stuck together

(IS)

so alike
everyone said
we could be twins
but then one day
a letter arrived

(MK)

through the open windows
spring wind…
by the ballerina box
my old ribbons tangled
like childhood memories 

(IS)

in my hands now
a forty-year-old picture
of an unknown aunt
a tiny birthmark
same as my own

(MK)

 

 

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Photo from Freeimages.com

 

Cloud watching (a haiga)

cloud watching haiga 2

 

Published in Prune Juice, A Journal of Senryu, Kyoka,
Haibun and Haiga, Issue 22, July 2017

Fragrance of old books… (tanka)

Click on the link below if you care to hear me read this tanka:

 

fragrance-of-old-books

My thanks to editor, Marilyn Hazelton, for publishing this tanka in Red Lights, one of the best tanka journals around.

Picking up a feather . . . (a tanka)

 

 

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~

Arrowheads rise…

It is always an honor to have a tanka published in , the Journal of the Tanka Society of America. My thanks to editor David Rice for selecting this poem.

 

arrowheads
rise to the surface
in a newly plowed field …
old memories
can be unexpected, too

 

 

Published:

Ribbons (Journal of the Tanka Society of America), Spring/Summer 2016, Volume 12, Number 2 (page 37)

 

 

1-arrowhead 1

 

Brushing Your Hair

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Brushing Your Hair

In the last month you ask me a favor.
Will I brush your hair when you have passed?
You seem to want to greet whatever comes
looking your best. I give my promise.

Each day when I come home, I offer
to brush your hair, but you say no,
maintaining the independence
you have always shown.

Later, in hospice, I no longer ask.
I hold your hands, rubbing lotion in,
skin so fragile, like a butterfly wing.
It is time now to make the last ablutions.

I clean your face and brush your hair,
your sleeping eyes flicker
under paper-thin lids, pale blue veins
tracing their course across them.

I imagine your mother tenderly holding you,
stroking your cheek, watching you dream
in her arms—her newborn daughter
with milky breath.

Ninety-one years separate us, your two watchers.
One joyously bringing you into the world;
the other sitting silently in the dim-lit room,
keeping watch over you through the night.          

 

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The poem, “Brushing Your Hair” is from my chapbook, Erasing the Doubt (c) 2015, Finishing Line Press.

 

 

 

Mary, Mary…poem by Mary Kendall (SAME NAME Poetry and Prose Series)

A new poem just up at Silver Birch Press. Click at the bottom to get to the original on the SBP site.

Silver Birch Press

kate maberlyMary, Mary…
by Mary Kendall

Unwanted.
Unloved.
Shunned.
Spoiled.
Rude.
Aggressive.
Obstinate.
Outspoken.
Contrary.
Sour.
Gloomy.
Dismissive.
Shut away.
Alone.
Alone.
Alone.

Your attributes, little Mary.
A long list.
No one liked you.
Except for me.

Not true. There were others.
Your sweet Indian Ayah, who fed you,
washed you, dressed you, taught you,
tolerated your contrary ways, angry words,
miserable frown. She held you close,
rocked you after nightmares and dark dreams,
fanned you in the hot Indian summers.
She sang to you—mellifluous, soothing songs.

Your mother denied your existence, hid you away from view,
just as later, you’d find your cousin Colin, hidden away, too.

Denial.
What damage it did.
What pain it caused.
Like a plant held too long in a small pot,
its roots pot-bound and crippled,
Colin, unwanted and denied like you.

Unwanted.
Unloved.
Denied.

My family separated when I was just five,
I felt…

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